We have kicked off the work for a six month project to investigate Digital Business Strategy (to be published as the September Gartner EXP report) – What is one? What does it contain? What is its relationship to overall business strategy, and IT strategy? How to create one? etc.
The early stages of the research highlight a worrying issue. Just as traditional enterprise IT has been heavily skewed towards automating internal processes (the back office), it looks like there is serious danger of digital strategies being equally skewed. In the public sector they are commonly skewed toward the issue of digital inclusion – making sure everyone has digital access to government services. In the private sector they are skewed towards digital marketing.
These are important focuses, but not the whole story. Digital considerations can impact the whole of the business model – how we collaborate internally and externally, what our products, channels and markets look like, how we exchange value with clients and partners, how we use information to make decisions, etc.
Bruce Lee, martial artist and movie star, famously said “The best thing we can do for our children is kill our own ghosts.” If Bruce was a digital business leader (or Gartner analyst :)), he might have said “the best thing we can do for our digital business strategies is kill our own biases (as to how and where digital affects our business).”